Gayle Martz

I love my pets, and I love to travel.

And I cannot imagine having to choose between the two. Globetrotting with my pets has become my way of life, but not so long ago, things were very different.

Sherpa the dogIn 1987, Sherpa, an adorable gray Lhasa Apso given to me by my fiancé, became my everything when my fiancé tragically died in his sleep a month before our wedding. Without a signed will, I wasn’t entitled to any of his estate and had to leave our New York home. To make matters worse, after two decades as a flight attendant, I had recently been laid off during a strike. At thirty-seven years old, my entire world had been turned upside down.

Feeling alone and distraught, I wanted to spend some time with my mother who lived in California, but I hesitated because the only way that Sherpa could accompany me on the plane was in a small hard-sided pet carrier that would be uncomfortable for her and cumbersome for me. I finally decided to leave her with a friend.

After arriving in California, I was appalled to learn that my friend’s husband had placed Sherpa in a kennel. (Kennels then  were not what they are now.) But worse than that, I felt completely lost without my little best friend; I realized I was the victim of a travel industry that had caused me to separate from my pooch during the time I needed her most. Read more

Gayle Martz

Heal The World


Never have lyrics rung so true. I think we all need to hear this song right now.

Gayle Martz

Airport ‘Petiquette’

  • gayle at airport check-in with her doggiesWhen traveling through the airport it is always best to keep a low profile when accompanying your pet at the airport.  Do not let him or her out of the carrier once you enter the airport terminal.  If they are traveling with you in the passenger cabin, never take him out of their carrier during the flight.
  • Be sure to take your dog outside before walking them through an airport.  Some airports provide dog-walking areas, but to be safe, have plenty of wee-wee pads on hand. Even if you are a responsible pet parent and don’t give your pet food for six hours before a flight or water within two hours of takeoff, sometimes your little friend still has to relieve himself.  If your pooch is sending you signals that this is the case, you can use the wee-wee pads in the airplane rest room, allowing your dog to relieve himself quickly, calmly, and discreetly.  Your dog will be very grateful.
  • If he must travel in the cargo hold, fasten a water bowl filled with frozen water to the door or carrier.  If you are carrying your pet through baggage check, politely and quietly inform the TSA agent at the security checkpoint that a pet is in the carrier so he is not exposed to x-rays.  If you are asked to take your pet out of the carrier as you pass through security on your way to the gate, make sure that he is wearing a collar and a leash or, better yet, a harness . Read more
Gayle Martz

Global Pet Expo

Gayle Martz and KoKo at Pet Expo

Gayle and her beloved companion, KoKo make the rounds at the 2022 Global Pet Expo in Orlando.

Gayle Martz

Too Old for a Pet? Think Again.

From an article on SilverDisobedience.Rocks

Gayle Martz with pet dogI hear it all the time: “I am too old to get a pet.”  And every time I hear it, my response is always the same. Nobody is too old to experience the love and joy a pet brings to your life. My first pet, SHERPA, was a Lhasa Apso that I adopted when I was in my 30s. The first time I held her, I felt warmth in my heart and a loving connection. At that moment, I did not know how much I would rely on SHERPA for more solace than I could ever imagine. Shortly after getting SHERPA, my fiancé passed away and my life was turned upside down. My only consolation was SHERPA’s unconditional love. It was then that I fully understood how beneficial pets are to humans and I have never been without one since. Now, my two dogs, KoKo and KARTU, make life even better by not only the love they give me but also the health benefits I gain by just having them around!

Happy Heart

Finding out that my fiancé’s death was a result of a massive heart attack caused me to become even more conscious of heart health. I have always embraced a healthy diet and regularly exercised —in fact, my first job was working at Jack LaLanne’s, the first exercise fitness club—and I am very aware that as we age, our chances of having heart disease or a heart attack increases. But did you know that owning a pet, especially a dog, may help keep your heart healthy according to a Mayo Clinic study? One researcher involved with the study said, “In general, people who owned any pet were more likely to report more physical activity, better diet, and blood sugar at ideal level. The greatest benefits from having a pet were for those who owned a dog, independent of their age, sex and education level.” KoKo and KARTU don’t even realize they could be as helpful as my yoga practice and nutritious meals are in keeping my heart healthy… but I do! And now so do you! Read more

Gayle Martz

Four Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before Starting a Business

From an article on

gayle martz

Starting a business is not always exactly how one might imagine it to be. Many aspiring entrepreneurs have expectations, but are they realistic? According to an Entrepreneur article, 24 million Americans wanted to become their own boss by 2021. But do they know exactly what that entails? The short answer: no.  For many, according to the article, expectations don’t always live up to reality – stress levels may go up (not down as many seem to think if they’re running the show), financial risks could be greater, and improvement of quality of life is not a guarantee. Given this, would-be entrepreneurs should know that it takes a special person who is passionate and prepared for all the possibilities.

One entrepreneur, Gayle Martz, is a perfect example of someone who was cut out for entrepreneurialism. Gayle is the founder of The SHERPA Pet Trading Company, where she single-handedly designed, manufactured and marketed the iconic SHERPA Bag® you see everywhere. Her hard work and determination resulted in a pet carrier purchased by millions for their dogs, cats and other animal companions, and it continues to be THE top-selling, prize-winning, globally-popular soft-sided pet carrier.

While it was not always easy, Martz says it was worth it. But she learned a lot throughout her business career. As Gayle recently shared in her interview with Thrive Global, here are four things she wishes someone told her before she started her business:

  1. Always consult a reputable attorney before you sign anything!

In her book, “It’s in the Bag,” Gayle reflects on the document she signed without having her attorney look at it first. Looking back, she was rushed into signing papers and notes that any business matter should never be rushed. Not taking the crucial time to consult her attorney cost her a lot and she preaches that all entrepreneurs get a good attorney that they can trust. “It is a necessity and an investment that will help along the way and save money down the road,” says Martz. Read more

Gayle Martz

Four Ways to Shower Your Dog with Love

Shower your dog with love. Dog being petted.

Our dogs are often some of the greatest loves of our lives. They’re always there for us, comforting us on a bad day, always happy to see us. No matter what, our dogs love us. They are the true embodiment of unconditional love. So, why not show your furry friend some love right back? Here are four fun ways to shower your fur-babies with the love they deserve.

Spend time together outdoors. It is undeniable that dogs, and really all animals, love to be outside. Go for walks, jogs, have a picnic, or even just lay in the sunshine on a nice day with your pet. Fresh air and time in nature is good for the physical and mental well-being for you and your pet. An article published by Animal Wellness Magazine states that spending time outdoors helps prevent anxiety, depression, and boredom in animals, and it does the same for us. Time outdoors increases physical activity and overall health for you and your pet. Read more

Gayle Martz

Four Business Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Gayle Martz with her fur babyEverybody has a story. Gayle Martz is hopeful that her story will be one that people thinking about going into the business world can relate to, be inspired by and motivated from. Gayle came back from the brink of tragedy (she opens up about losing her fiancé, job, and home in her latest book IT’S IN THE BAG) and built a business from rock bottom. Gayle is the founder and former CEO/President of the Sherpa Pet Trading Company for more than two decades where she not only created the first soft-sided pet carrier officially approved by major airlines (The SHERPA Bag ®) but also made pet travel possible – and common! It is because of Gayle’s advocacy as a former flight attendant and pet lover that dogs and cats can travel in the passenger cabin on airlines.

Gayle admits that when she first ventured into the business world, it felt as if she entered a new universe, one filled with many, continuous challenges that she experienced over the twelve-year period from 1990-2002 as she turned SHERPA into a multi-million-dollar business. These challenges created difficult and rewarding experiences that shaped her as an entrepreneur and allowed her to take away important lessons that she shares with readers in her book IT’S IN THE BAG. Her top tips include: Read more

Gayle Martz

Happy Valentine’s Day

Always being with the ones you love, two and four footed.

Happy Valentines Day from Gayle and her two doggies

Lots of Love & Light,

Gayle Martz

Life Crafting: Find Your Purpose and Makeover Your Life

life craftingIn her latest book, IT’S IN THE BAG, Gayle Martz, entrepreneur, pet-travel advocate, and lover of animals, refers to her raison d’être, or her reason for existing, which she found through applying her passion for both animals and travel to every aspect of her life. We all need a raison d’être, a true purpose, to be whole in mind, body, and spirit. Living a life rooted in purpose is linked to strong mental health, physical well-being, and even longevity. According to an article published by Frontiers in Psychology, having a strong sense of purpose helps reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. It has also been found to be “related to a decrease in mortality across all ages,” according to XX. Further, research published in the journal Health Psychology, also suggests that people with a strong sense of purpose make healthier choices. People living with purpose are happier, healthier, less stressed, and live longer. It’s kind of a big deal!

An article for Greater Good in Action, a resource offering science-based practices for a meaningful life published by the University of California at Berkeley, outlines how to practice life crafting. Here is the gist: Read more